Traveling In Fall? Secrets Travel Agents Won't Tell You But Told Us

As we move into fall, the travel game changes in some significant ways compared to the summer season, a peak time for travel in much of the world. In order to crack the code of shoulder season and get the best out of it, we figured we should contact the experts: travel agents.

Known for their money-saving expertise and time-saving ability to carve out a fantastic itinerary, travel agents are usually great for saving travelers a lot of headaches. We consulted travel agent Lauren Saiger Machowsky of SmartFlyer and leisure travel consultant Elizabeth Clyde of Signature Destinations, an independent affiliate of Travel Edge, to see what knowledge they could bestow on us. If you're looking to plan a fantastic fall getaway, we've got the scoop on these secrets that travel agents won't tell you about traveling in the fall.

Booking Last Minute Isn’t Always a Bad Idea 

Although travel agents will recommend that you book as soon as you can for holiday season travel, Elizabeth Clyde suggests otherwise. If you have some flexibility in terms of your destination, she advises looking into last-minute specials for resorts during the fall or even considering last-minute cruise line deals for December and January.

Don’t Bother With Airfare 

Clyde also suggests sticking to land when traveling this fall. Instead of shelling out for flight tickets, driving trips are fantastic for the fall, especially if you take to the New England area. More of your budget can go towards top accommodations and experiences instead.

Find Fall Foliage in Europe 

"Don't forget that leaf peeping also happens in Europe," says Clyde. She suggests getting on a late-season river cruise to check out Germany's fall foliage for a change of pace from the fall foliage hikes so popular in the States.

Stay Domestic 

Lauren Saiger Machowsky urges fall travelers to take advantage of the fall foliage by sticking to a domestic trip, particularly on the East Coast. "The Hamptons, Montauk, and other beach towns in the Northeast aren't so busy, but the weather is great and rates are lower," she says.

Travel When There Are No School Holidays 

A couple holidays tend to occur during or around fall, such as Labor Day and Thanksgiving, and Saiger Machowsky suggests booking your trip to avoid those dates. "You can take advantage of lower rates and less crowds at the hotels, particularly for couples, as the hotels will be more adult-oriented at those times," she says.

Visit Europe 

Foliage is but a small part of the reason why you should visit the European continent. Saiger Machowsky also suggests a trip across the pond. "Rates are lower and there are less crowds, but the weather is still amazing and restaurants and shops are still open," she told us.

Visit Hurricane Season Spots 

There are plenty of great reasons to travel in the off-season, and that's exactly what fall is in Florida and the Caribbean. Saiger Machowsky suggests a trip here for many of those reasons, but also urges you stay prepared. "Be sure to purchase travel insurance for when you take a trip to beach destinations in the fall so you are covered for delays and cancellations," she says.

Visit Summer’s Top Destinations 

"Think contrarian with any fall travel!" Clyde tells us. Rather than heading out to the top destinations for fall, check out spots like Paris or Venice on the long weekends. With rates having gone down and the weather staying mild through November, these are the best places to visit now that the summer crowds have left.